Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Be Generous

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, 
   who conduct their affairs with justice.

Psalm 112:5

When Leanne and I were celebrating our 15th anniversary in Cape Cod, we met Bob (above).  Bob met us one morning as we were getting off the boat on Nantucket.  This meeting had been arranged by Bob’s son who goes to our church, and I want to make sure I never forget what we experienced.  I don’t want to forget this day, because it was truly a great reminder of generosity.  Here’s what happened.

Leanne and I decided that we should go to Nantucket  on the actual day of our 15th anniversary.  We arranged the visit boat ride over to the island from Cape Cod through Mary, our bed and breakfast hostess.  We decided to take our bikes on the boat, so we could enjoy some biking and sight-seeing during our once in a lifetime day trip.  As we unloaded our bikes from the boat, we met Bob.  He was standing there patiently waiting for us in anticipation of starting the tour.  Bob took us over to his yacht club where we dropped off his bike and proceeded to walk a few blocks up a hill to The First Congregational Church where our friend from church had been married.  We walked up to the bell tower to enjoy spectacular views of Nantucket.

After walking back down to the yacht club, we jumped in Bob’s Suzuki Sidekick.  From here, Bob took us all over the town where we saw The Oldest House on the island, the old windmill, and some homes of well-known business people and celebrities.  The town is beautiful with its cobblestone streets and its blooming hydrangea bushes.  As we traveled around the town, it was obvious that Bob knew many facts about this town and he was so happy to be able to share the place he loves with us.

When we got back to the yacht club, Bob offered to take us for a ride in his boat.  At this point, I was beginning to wonder if I was dreaming – was I going to wake up back at home in Pennsylvania?  Bob drove us around the harbor area of Nantucket and pointed out various homes and sites.  He also shared stories about his family and about his business.  You could tell he was particularly proud of his kids.  The boat ride was so refreshing, and I felt like I was flying along the water as we motored across the harbor.  It was a boat ride to remember.  (Leanne even had an opportunity to drive the boat.)

Our time with Bob wasn’t over when we arrived back at the yacht club.  Bob invited us to lunch at the club.  It was an offer we couldn’t refuse – and I’m not sure he would have taken no for an answer.  We enjoyed sandwiches and lemonades on the patio overlooking the tennis courts and harbor.  Bob continued with stories of the yacht club.  He told us about the boat races that he and his brother had won.  He shared about how his kids had grown up at the yacht club every summer.  He wasn’t bragging.  He was celebrating.  He was expressing thanksgiving for what he had experienced.

Following lunch, we said our good-byes.  As Leanne and I walked to our bikes, we looked at each other and agreed that we would never forget our 15th anniversary, and we would never forget the generosity of Bob – a man we had never met before this day, a man who expressed generosity to complete strangers.  I don’t anticipate the business success that Bob has had in his life (although I suppose that’s possible), but I want to be like Bob when it comes to being generous.  Thanks, Bob for a great day and an important reminder to be generous.

Have you ever experienced generosity that blew you away?


September 2, 2011 - Posted by | experiences, life, looking back, marriage, new experiences, thankful, thoughts, vacation


  1. Great story Jon. Investing in others and just sharing life often has a much bigger impact than business success. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Comment by ramblinknight | September 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Ryan! I couldn’t agree more.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Wow…great story Jon…

    There is a friend that my wife and I talked to every once in a while… we probably see each other like maybe 2 or 3 times a year…

    But when we get together…it feels like we all grew up toghether. It’s weird.

    That’s how i want to be with other people….

    I want to make them feel like they’ve known me all their life because of the generosity i bestow on them…

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | September 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Arny, This makes me think of the Gatorade commercial “Like Mike, if I could be like Mike” obviously appealing to the Michael Jordan fans out there. This brings up a great question. ‘Who do we want to be like, and why?’ ‘Who are we modeling ourselves to be like?’ and ‘What kind of model do we want to be for others?’

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 2, 2011 | Reply

      • Sounds like you got your next post jon! LOL…

        Comment by Arny Sanchez | September 2, 2011 | Reply

        • Yeah, I was thinking about it….

          Comment by jonstolpe | September 2, 2011

  3. Great post, Jon. So happy you both had the opportunity to meet Bob. What a great guy and a generous man he is! We all need to be more generous and giving.

    Matthew 6:19 says: do not store up your treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also.

    Comment by Alan and Janet Lomicka | September 4, 2011 | Reply

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